TRINITYTIDE: Introduction To The Trinity Season

Introduction To The Trinity Season

From Common Prayer, by W. J. Hankey, D. P. Curry, J.A. Matheson, B.L. Craig, R. U. Smith, and G. W. Thorne

The Christian year consists of two parts: from Advent to Trinity Sunday; and from Trinity to Advent.  The first half of the church year has set before us the saving life and work of Jesus Christ: at Advent and Christmas with the celebration of the incarnation (“taking on flesh”) of Jesus; at Epiphany with the manifestation of our Lord to the Gentiles; at Lent with his fasting, temptation, agony, bloody sweat, cross, passion, death, and burial; at Easter with his glorious resurrection; at the Ascension; at Pentecost with his sending of the Holy Ghost to comfort us.  During all this time the church has made us remember with thankful hearts those unspeakable benefits we receive from the Father, first by his Son, and then by his Holy Spirit.  This part of the Christian year concludes on Trinity Sunday when the church gives praise and glory to the whole Trinity, three persons in One God.  We are beginning the second half of the Christian year (Trinity season), which prompts us to conform our lives to the truth we have seen in the first half of the year.  As Christians we are not only to know that our salvation is in Jesus Christ, but we ourselves must become like him.  Religion consists of things to be believed and things to be done.  Advent to Trinity has made clear the truth to be believed; but belief is unreal unless it is made the basis of action.  The emphasis in Trinity season is on the transformation of our life by and through the love of God.  The Collects in Trinity season are prayers for divine help and guidance to enable us to bring forth the fruits of Christianity.  We seek to understand our faith in a way which shows us how we can become more charitable, compassionate, humble, and patient.  The Sunday lessons are concerned with the practical life of God’s Kingdom within us as individuals and among us as a Christian community.  As Charles Wheatley noted in 1710 about Gospels and Epistles appointed for Trinity season:

From Trinity Sunday to Advent, the Gospels are not chosen as peculiarly proper to this or that Sunday, (for that could only be observed in the greater festivals), but such passages are selected out of the conduce to the making us good Christians: such as are the holy doctrine, deeds, and miracles of the blessed Jesus, who always went about doing good, and which the Church always proposes to our imitation.  The Epistles tend to the same end, being frequent exhortations to an uninterrupted practice of all Christian virtues.

The Christian life is lived within God himself: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  The continuing theme throughout Trinity season is that of the practice of allowing God to live in us so that we might be able to say with Saint Paul: “I am crucified with Christ, yet I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me,” (Galatians 2:20).

Trinitytide is a time when we daily offer our life to God so that he may transform it by his life and make it more beautiful to God, to others and to ourselves.

 

 

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